Maine coon cats have been around for so long, you probably think you know everything there is to know about the breed. The truth is that these cats, known as the “gentle giants” of their species, have a very interesting story, and we rounded up a few facts that might surprise even the most knowledgeable Maine coon fan.
1#The breed is very popular everywhere, not just in Maine:
In 2015, the CFA reported that Maine coons were the third-most popular breed in America. According to other statistics, Europe and Japan also have love for the Maine coon.
2#Maine coons won America’s first juried cat exhibition:
Held at New York’s Madison Square Garden in 1895, one of the first recorded juried cat exhibitions in the United States recognized the Maine coon as its choice for the “Best Cat” award.
3#The Maine coon’s coat doesn’t just come in brown:
While we typically think of this breed as having a raccoon-like coloring, Maine coons can actually come in many different colors. Smoke, cream, cameo, mackerel, and tortoiseshell colorings are all recognized by the Cat Fanciers’ Association (CFA) as purebred coats.
4#Maine coons are built to survive cold winter temperatures:
Their beautiful bushy tails are meant to wrap around their bodies to keep them warm when it gets too cold.
5#There are several interesting theories about the Maine coon’s origin:
Some believe these cats are descendants of the ones brought to Maine by Queen Marie Antoinette during the French Revolution, and another theory is that Maine coons originated when semi-wild domesticated cats bred with raccoons. The most likely explanation for the breed is that they resulted from short-haired cats mating with domesticated long haired-cats brought over by the Vikings in the 1700s.
6#Maine coon cats are enormous felines:
The average male Maine coon can weigh up to 18 pounds. The breed has even been mistaken for a bobcat before!
7#A Maine coon was one of the stars of the Harry Potter movie series:
That’s right! Three Maine coon cats were cast for the role of Mrs. Norris, Argus Filch’s pet.
8#The first commercially cloned pet was a Maine coon cat:
A Maine coon cat named Little Nicky was the first cat to be cloned commercially in 2004 when his owner paid $50,000 to a now-defunct company for the service. California-based Genetic Savings & Clone, Inc. transplanted Little Nicky’s DNA into an egg cell, and a surrogate mama cat gave birth to a kitten with looks and a temperament much like Little Nicky’s.
9#The longest cat in the world is a Maine coon:
This humongous breed is on record with Guinness as the longest domestic cat in the world. Stewie, an 8-year-old Maine coon, has the honor of this distinction.
10#A Maine coon is also the world’s oldest cat:
Corduroy the Maine coon is an unbelievable 26 years old! Guinness World Records has him listed as the oldest domesticated cat in the world today.
11#Some Maine coons are polydactyls:
Yep, Hemingway’s cats aren’t the only ones with six toes. Maine coons are another breed that’s been reported to sport an extra thumb from time to time.
The Maine coon is definitely one of the most fascinating cat breeds!
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12#Unlike other breeds, Maine coon cats love the water:
It’s not your typical kitty behavior, but Maine coons can’t seem get enough time in the water. Is the reason largely due to their dense, moisture-repellent coats? We don’t know, but many Maine coon owners have definitely reported this pattern.